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December 28, 2005

Commentaries

Pat Buchanan
Darwin's Pyrrhic victory

Noting that U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III is a Bush appointee, the Washington Post called his decision "a scathing opinion that criticized local school board members for lying under oath and for their 'breathtaking inanity' in trying to inject religion into science classes."

But is it really game, set, match, Darwin?

Have these fellows forgotten that John Scopes, the teacher in that 1925 "Monkey Trial," lost in court, and was convicted of violating Tennessee law against the teaching of evolution and fined $100? Yet Darwin went on to conquer public education, and American Civil Liberties Union atheists went on to purge Christianity and the Bible from our public schools.

The Dover defeat notwithstanding, the pendulum is clearly swinging back. Darwinism is on the defensive. For, as Tom Bethell, author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science," reminds us, there is no better way to make kids curious about "intelligent design" than to have some Neanderthal forbid its being mentioned in biology class.


Bill Murchison
For the science room, no free speech

Will the federal courts, and the people who rely on the federal courts to enforce secular ideals, ever get it? The anti-school-prayer decisions of the past 40 years -- not unlike the pro-choice-in-abortion decisions, starting with Roe vs. Wade -- haven't driven pro-school-prayer, anti-choice Americans from the marketplace of ideas and activity.

Neither will U.S. Dist. Judge John Jones' anti-intelligent-design ruling in Dover, Pa., just before Christmas choke off challenges to the public schools' Darwinian monopoly....

Not that Darwinism, as Jones acknowledges, is perfect. Still, "the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent scientific propositions."

Ah. We see now: Federal judges are the final word on good science. Who gave them the power to exclude even whispers of divinity from the classroom? Supposedly, the First Amendment to the Constitution: the odd part here being the assumption that the "free speech" amendment shuts down discussion of alternatives to an establishment-approved concept of Truth.


Michelle Malkin
The New York Times vs. America

On July 6, Army reserve officer Phillip Carter authored a freelance op-ed for the Times calling on President Bush to promote military recruitment efforts. The next day, the paper was forced to admit that one of its editors had inserted misleading language into the piece against Carter's wishes....

Not content to meddle with the words of a living soldier, the Times published a disgraceful distortion of a fallen soldier's last words on Oct. 26. As reported in this column and in the news pages of the New York Post, Times reporter James Dao unapologetically abused the late Corporal Jeffrey B. Starr, whose letter to his girlfriend in case of death in Iraq was selectively edited to convey a bogus sense of "fatalism" for a massive piece marking the anti-war movement's "2,000 dead in Iraq" campaign. The Times added insult to injury by ignoring President Bush's tribute to Starr on Nov. 30 during his Naval Academy speech defending the war in Iraq....

The Times did find space to print the year's most insipid op-ed piece by paranoid Harvard student Fatina Abdrabboh, who praised Al Gore for overcoming America's allegedly rampant anti-Muslim bias by picking up her car keys, which she dropped while running on a gym treadmill...

In June, Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, pilot of downed American Airlines Flight 77, blew the whistle on plans by civil liberties zealots to turn Ground Zero in New York into a Blame America monument. On July 29, the Times editorial page, stocked with liberals who snort and stamp whenever their patriotism is questioned, slammed Burlingame and her supporters at Take Back the Memorial as "un-American" — for exercising their free speech rights.

Yes, "un-American." This from a newspaper that smeared female interrogators at Guantanamo Bay as "sex workers," sympathetically portrayed military deserters as "un-volunteers," apologized for terror suspects and illegal aliens at every turn, enabled the Bush Derangement Syndrome-driven crusade of the lying Joe Wilson, and recklessly endangered national security by publishing illegally obtained information about classified counterterrorism programs.


Robert Spencer
Radioactive Mosques?

New revelations that federal officials are checking mosques for radiation levels has the Council on American Islamic Relations in an uproar. CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper fumed: “This creates the appearance that Muslims are targeted simply for being Muslims. I don’t think this is the message the government wants to send at this time.” A CAIR statement claimed that the monitoring “could lead to the perception that we are no longer a nation ruled by law, but instead one in which fear trumps constitutional rights. All Americans should be concerned about the apparent trend toward a two-tiered system of justice, with full rights for most citizens, and another diminished set of rights for Muslims.”

Indeed, the mainstream media has made much of potential Constitutional issues, trumpeting the fact that the radiation monitoring has been done without search warrants -- even though no actual searches have been carried out. Also, Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse maintained that “FBI agents do not intrude across any constitutionally protected areas without the proper legal authority,” and that it does not monitor groups in general but only acts on specific information. Is there any such information in this case? Roehrkasse spoke of official concern with “a growing body of sensitive reporting that continues to show al-Qaida has a clear intention to obtain and ultimately use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear” weapons.

This has been public knowledge for years. Not long after 9/11, Americans discovered plans for constructing nuclear weapons in a former Al-Qaeda safe house in Kabul. A 2003 CIA report stated that jihad terrorists “have a wide variety of potential agents and delivery means to choose from for chemical, biological and radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attacks.” Other reports have claimed that Osama bin Laden himself met with Pakistani nuclear scientists; that Al-Qaeda has already obtained nuclear material on the Russian black market, and that jihadists already having brought those nukes into the United States. Others asserted that Al-Qaeda was planning to smuggle nuclear material into the U.S. from Mexico. But even if none of that is true, there is no doubt that jihadists are working in that direction. Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of the masterminds of 9/11, has declared that “in killing Americans…Muslims should not exceed four million non-combatants, or render more than ten million of them homeless.”

But of course, no Muslims who believe that four million Americans should be murdered are actually on American soil, right? Unfortunately, we have no way to know this for sure. Political correctness and unproven assumptions have kept the media and even law enforcement officials from asking the hard questions they should ask of Muslim leaders in the U.S. Absurdities consequently abound. One police official lamented: “We’ll come back from a Kumbayah meeting with a local mosque and realize that these guys who just agreed to help us are in our terror files!” The most notorious example of this phenomenon may be former Cleveland Muslim leader Fawaz Damra, who signed the Fiqh Council of North America’s condemnation of terrorism and now faces deportation for failing to disclose his ties to terrorist groups. Damra, widely respected as a moderate voice up until his arrest, was never expelled from his communities in Brooklyn or Cleveland (or evidently even reprimanded) despite having said at a 1989 Islamic conference that “the first principle is that terrorism, and terrorism alone, is the path to liberation.”


Kathleen Parker
Lord of the blogs

What is wonderful and miraculous about the Internet needs little elaboration. We all marvel at the ease with which we can access information - whether reading government documents previously available only to a few, or tracking down old friends and new enemies.

It is this latter - our new enemies - that interests me most. I don't mean al-Qaida or Osama bin Laden, but the less visible, insidious enemies of decency, humanity and civility - the angry offspring of narcissism's quickie marriage to instant gratification.

There's something frankly creepy about the explosion we now call the Blogosphere - the big-bang "electroniverse" where recently wired squatters set up new camps each day. As I write, the number of "blogs" (Web logs) and "bloggers"(those who blog) is estimated in the tens of millions worldwide....

Bloggers persist no matter their contributions or quality, though most would have little to occupy their time were the mainstream media to disappear tomorrow. Some bloggers do their own reporting, but most rely on mainstream reporters to do the heavy lifting. Some bloggers also offer superb commentary, but most babble, buzz and blurt like caffeinated adolescents competing for the Ritalin generation's inevitable senior superlative: Most Obsessive-Compulsive....

They play tag team with hyperlinks ("I'll say you're important if you'll say I'm important) and shriek "Gotcha!" when they catch some weary wage earner in a mistake or oversight. Plenty smart but lacking in wisdom, they possess the power of a forum, but neither the maturity nor humility that years of experience impose....

Schadenfreude - pleasure in others' misfortunes - has become the new barbarity on an island called Blog. When someone trips, whether Dan Rather or Eason Jordan or Judith Miller, bloggers are the bloodthirsty masses slavering for a public flogging. Incivility is their weapon and humanity their victim.

I mean no disrespect to the many brilliant people out there - professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and other journalists who also happen to blog. Again, they know who they are. But we should beware and resist the rest of the ego-gratifying rabble who contribute only snark, sass and destruction.

I would imagine that blogs would be sapping the market from syndicated columnists. Wonder why she didn't feel the need to mention that, in the spirit of "full disclosure"?

Posted by Danny Carlton at December 28, 2005 07:38 AM

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